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Redskins Players Wrap Up The 2010 Season In The Postgame Locker Room

Posted by Matt Terl on January 2, 2011 – 9:03 pm

I wouldn’t call the Redskins locker room upbeat, precisely — no team finishing a 6-10 season is going to be upbeat — but it was dramatically different from the oppressively grim feeling of uncertainty that characterized the end of last season. Players seemed to be looking at this lost season as something to build on and to learn from, and there was a strong sense of optimism and excitement for next season. (Which was not exactly what the end of 2009 felt like, to say the least.)

Rex Grossman was probably the most over-the-top — some might say insanely over-the-top — in his press conference. “It feels like the games we won, we only won by three points,” Grossman said, “and all the games we lost, except for one or two, were very, very close games. That just shows you that we’re not as bad as our record, but we’re not quite a dominant team. I think that’s the next step for the Redskins to take that next step, however you take it. There are a lot of great players that have made amazing plays this year and they can build on that. I expect the Redskins to win the NFC East next year.”

So, yeah, that’s probably a little excessive. But there was also some more temperate enthusiasm.

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Redskins vs. Giants – Fourth Quarter Reactions

Posted by Matt Terl on January 2, 2011 – 7:13 pm

The Giants win their sixth straight against the Redskins, by a final score of 17-14. The Redskins turn the ball over four times and squander multiple opportunities. The Packers win and eliminate the Giants from the playoffs. As estimable Redskins.com Intern Ravi noted on Twitter, no fans are leaving FedExField happy tonight.

I’m heading down to the locker room to let the players put a bow on this game — and by extension the season — but for Redskins fans it’s officially all about 2011 now. Read more »

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Redskins vs. Giants – Third Quarter Reactions

Posted by Matt Terl on January 2, 2011 – 6:25 pm

That animated GIF comes via the indispensable @BubbaProg on Twitter, and really sums up everything you need to know about that quarter of football — and, by extension, the entire Redskins 2010 season:

It’s DeAngelo Hall trying to do what he does best: make a play on the ball in the air. But he mistimes his leap and Eli Manning throws a darned near perfect pass which turns into a 92 yard touchdown for New York. Hall, of course, was just this week named as the only Redskins player heading to Hawai’i for the Pro Bowl. The touchdown is the longest the Redskins have given up since 1983.

With careful replacement of the nouns in that paragraph, you can pretty much tell the story of everything that’s happened this season: someone comes very close to doing something well but instead it all goes horribly awry in historic fashion. Often that person was lauded in one way or another earlier in the week. Accurate or not, that’s how I’ll remember the 2010 season, barring some sort of insane fourth quarter miracle, and it’s all captured in one handy GIF.

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Redskins vs. Giants – Second Quarter Reactions

Posted by Matt Terl on January 2, 2011 – 5:32 pm

Two stats of note from that quarter.

The first one comes via Redskins PR (and can thus safely be presumed to be accurate): catches by Chris Cooley and Anthony Armstrong put them each over 800 yards for the season, and Santana Moss was already there. This means that the Redskins have three receivers with more than 800 yards apiece for the first time since 1989 — and the three receivers who did it that year were Gary Clark, Art Monk, and Ricky Sanders. So in at least one very specific way, Armstrong, Moss, and Cooley are the new Posse. Just like we all predicted, really.

The other stat is one that I dug up myself (and am therefore slightly less certain of): trailing by just 3 at the half means that this is the closest the Redskins have been to the Giants at halftime since week 15 of the 2007 season, when the Redskins actually took a 13 point lead into the half. The Redskins would go on to win that game as part of the bizarre Todd Collins-led march into the playoffs. That seems unlikely — as in “mathematically impossible” — to happen today.

But trailing is trailing, and the Redskins are trailing 10-7.

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Redskins vs. Giants – First Quarter Reactions

Posted by Matt Terl on January 2, 2011 – 4:50 pm

Another picture from the season-opener because there’s one more similarity that I didn’t mention: Brian Orakpo won that game by being held; he’s still being held (although it’s not winning games nearly as much). But it’s happened at least twice that I’ve noticed today, and at this point you have to wonder if Orakpo can add another move to his repertoire or find some way to prevent guys from wrapping their arms around his neck. Perhaps spikes on his shoulder pads.

Anyhow, although the Redskins end the quarter trailing by 3, there was a lot to like for the fans who bemoan the loss of NFC East style football: the Redskins running game looked good, with Ryan Torain carrying the ball seven times for 46 yards and making sharp, decisive cuts. (Also contributing to that, the offensive line was doing a solid job in run blocking with Kory Lichtensteiger looking impressive on the second level more than once.)

And the defense, despite giving up a couple of long-ish runs (a 27 yarder for Brandon Jacobs; a 14 yard scramble for Eli Manning) looked much more aggressive and physical — and surer-tackling — than they did in the first game against the Giants. At least there are some positive signs; now the offense needs to start finishing drives to end this season on a high note.

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Redskins vs. Giants – Inactives

Posted by Matt Terl on January 2, 2011 – 3:25 pm

The picture above is from the season opener here at FedExField. Today, like then, it’s a game against a divisional opponent. Today, like then, the Redskins are wearing burgundy jerseys over gold pants. But the similarities pretty much end there.

If you looked at that picture just after the Dallas game, it was the smoke clearing to reveal the new quarterback of the Washington Redskins, about to introduced at his new home stadium for the first time. Looking at it now, it seems more like a fog rolling in from the right of the image, obscuring Donovan McNabb‘s future with the team. Or something like that. I’m not really very good at that sort of atmospheric-event-as-metaphor thing.

But you get the idea: Donovan McNabb is on the inactive list today, third quarterback available only for emergencies. Things have changed since September 12. In fact, comparing today’s starting lineup to the starting lineup from that Dallas game, only eleven starters return to the same starting spot for the Redskins. Almost all of the changes make the team younger (Vonnie Holliday starting at DE being the notable exception), but it’s been a long seventeen weeks to get there — and it seems unlikely that the pace of change will slow down as we head to the offseason.

There’s still one game left to play before we get there, though; here’s the complete list of inactives.

  • QB Donovan McNabb (QB3)
  • CB Carlos Rogers
  • RB James Davis
  • CB Reggie Jones
  • RB Andre Brown
  • OL Erik Cook
  • OL Derrick Dockery
  • DL Joe Joseph

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